Addiction Memoirs

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I really enjoy these, the regretful yet slightly proud and boastful rearview perspective and the inevitable proclamations of clarity and resolve. I’m reading Matthew perry’s at the moment. What are your favorites and some classics of the genre?

calstars, Friday, 30 December 2022 15:59 (one month ago) link

Straight Life! By Art -and Laurie- Pepper.

A Kestrel for a Neve (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 30 December 2022 16:01 (one month ago) link

Never enough : a way through addiction by UK rock writer Barney Hoskyns, a combination of memoir and theoretical exploration of the subject.

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 30 December 2022 18:31 (one month ago) link

does A Fan's Notes count?

Wyverns and gulls rule my world (Noodle Vague), Friday, 30 December 2022 18:33 (one month ago) link

There is some of this in Remain in Love.

Buncha people liked Pete Hamill's A Drinking Life. There are evocative bits but I found it overrated.

Immodest Moose (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 30 December 2022 18:34 (one month ago) link

Jim Carrol - Basketball Diaries
William Burroughs - Junkie
Thomas DeQuincey - Confessions of an English Opium Eater

m0stly clean (Slowsquatch), Friday, 30 December 2022 22:36 (one month ago) link

Mike Doughty's Book of Drugs is a good one. you kinda end up really disliking him towards the end but I suppose that's true of a lot of these

frogbs, Friday, 30 December 2022 22:44 (one month ago) link

Nico Walker's Cherry is ostensibly a novel, but I think it's pretty autobiographical.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Friday, 30 December 2022 22:46 (one month ago) link

xp
that's not surprising, M. Doughty's episode of WTF definitely made me dislike him strongly as a person.

Judi Dench's Human Hand (methanietanner), Friday, 30 December 2022 22:47 (one month ago) link

Those Drinking Days by Donald Newlove

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 30 December 2022 22:48 (one month ago) link

Indirectly, A Scanner Darkly, PK Dick.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Friday, 30 December 2022 22:50 (one month ago) link

The excerpts of xpost Straight Life that I've come across, also Art's "interview"/monologue in a Grover Lewis collection: scary, scarry af and def beyond what calstars finds appealing---but/and I may get around to reading all of SL, maybe---he became a great artist despite it all, so hopefully some of that comes across in the book as well.

The late David Carr's memoir has always sounded promising--wiki:

In his 2008 memoir, The Night of the Gun, Carr detailed his experiences with cocaine addiction and included interviews with people from his past, tackling his memoir as if he were reporting on himself.
He had to: al lot of his memories were all fucked up, as he mentioned in interviews.

dow, Friday, 30 December 2022 22:54 (one month ago) link

Olivia Laing's *To Echo Spring* mostly fits the bill, as does Amy Liptrot's *The Outrun*. The former is about the relationship between drink and writing; the latter is probably as much a nature healing book but it's booze Liptrot is running from.

Shard-borne Beatles with their drowsy hums (Chinaski), Saturday, 31 December 2022 18:17 (one month ago) link

Oh, I like Olivia Laing, that sounds interesting.

A Kestrel for a Neve (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 31 December 2022 18:37 (one month ago) link

Arre teh 2 memoirs by Violet leduc drug related it's been a few decades since I read them so I'm not remembering fully. I remember them being pretty good anyway.

I was reading the Nikki Sixx Heroin Diaries at one point during the year but it must have disappeared into the pile of books on the bed.

Stevolende, Saturday, 31 December 2022 18:43 (one month ago) link

Jerry Stahl - Permanent Midnight

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 3 January 2023 07:13 (one month ago) link

How harrowing is The Copenhagen Trilogy?

Chris L, Tuesday, 3 January 2023 15:54 (one month ago) link

just finished this yesterday. first 2 parts 'childhood' and 'youth' not really harrowing at all, just really beautifully written and clear eyed and completely lacking in any unearned sentimentality. third part 'dependency' where the addiction starts is p tough but still remains remarkably clear eyed especially wrt her relationship with her kids.

oscar bravo, Tuesday, 3 January 2023 16:17 (one month ago) link

Speed and Kentucky Ham by William Burroughs Jr

Ward Fowler, Tuesday, 3 January 2023 18:36 (one month ago) link

Something that kind of is and kind of isn't an addiction memoir but is very good regardless: Mark Lanegan's Sing Backwards and Weep, which I happened to be listening to early last year right around the time he passed.

My name is Mike Cyclops. I work for (bernard snowy), Wednesday, 4 January 2023 02:15 (one month ago) link

Gabor Maté’s In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts was kind of an addiction memoir from the other side of the desk: outside looking in. A doctor on skid row. I got a lot of value from it, though he completely falls down on theory (o hey guess what everything that’s wrong in the world is because trauma) — the human-narrative element of the book (most of it) was really well done, I thought.

The land of dreams and endless remorse (hardcore dilettante), Wednesday, 4 January 2023 06:36 (one month ago) link

Olivia Laing's *To Echo Spring* mostly fits the bill, as does Amy Liptrot's *The Outrun*. The former is about the relationship between drink and writing; the latter is probably as much a nature healing book but it's booze Liptrot is running from.


Thank you for this , I’m really enjoying echo spring

calstars, Friday, 13 January 2023 00:43 (three weeks ago) link

Glad to hear it calstars. It's probably against the spirit of the thread (and the book, tbf) but a boozy road trip following some of her routes would be great.

Shard-borne Beatles with their drowsy hums (Chinaski), Friday, 13 January 2023 16:28 (three weeks ago) link

Selma Blair’s memoir was really good — it’s not specific to addiction necessarily but as an unvarnished look at what alcoholism really looks like as a lifelong issue, I was really impressed & would recommend

Piggy Lepton (La Lechera), Saturday, 14 January 2023 01:23 (three weeks ago) link

It’s called MEAN BABY

Piggy Lepton (La Lechera), Saturday, 14 January 2023 01:26 (three weeks ago) link

Am I the only mean-spirited person who clicks on this thread hoping someone will innocuously recommend A Million Little Pieces?

assert (matttkkkk), Saturday, 14 January 2023 01:36 (three weeks ago) link

I hope so — that impulse certainly is mean-spirited I’ll give you that. Idgi

Piggy Lepton (La Lechera), Saturday, 14 January 2023 01:44 (three weeks ago) link

Not an addiction memoir, but the chapter on (or somewhat on) the genre in Maggie Nelson’s On Freedom is pretty interesting.

ed.b, Saturday, 14 January 2023 02:10 (three weeks ago) link

xp yikes, well I will keep such impulses to myself in future

I suppose I feel uneasy with the genre per se because I’ve never had a life-overturning addiction so it feels vicarious to me, that book pretty much leveraged that sentiment

assert (matttkkkk), Saturday, 14 January 2023 04:10 (three weeks ago) link

I'm pretty sure lots of people read that book before the truth came out because they did have experience of addiction

Wyverns and gulls rule my world (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 14 January 2023 05:42 (three weeks ago) link

I worked for David Carr some years ago. Much missed.

is it milli vanilli or just a facsimile (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 25 January 2023 17:20 (one week ago) link

Yeah, I didn't know him, but miss his radio comments, esp. when as an On The Media contributor. Oh one I forgot is Mary Karr's Lit. She starts by masterfully interpolating elements her previous two memoirs, building towards the era when she seemed most overtly into the work-drink cycle, self-medicating to deal with depressive tendencies tied in with her weird-ass parents (very warm and well-meaning in their preoccupied ways, but father was a stone barstool alkie and Mom was seemingly capricious like the weather/secretly motivated to begin with, turned out). Also her teen vagabond years out West before becoming Poet Laureate of Minneapolis and then a competent writer, according to her---the better the writing, also actually holding down a fulfilling job and having an excellent husband and baby, the worse the drinking.
Stuff about rehab wow, but eventually things are better. Although, "I think we can see who was the asshole in the marriage." She doesn't mean him.
(Her The Art of Memoir, based on her teaching as well as writing experience, is also a pretty awesome read (typically, she doesn't spare herself for having swallowed doubts about, and even recommending, a Holocaust memoir that turned out to be fraud)

dow, Thursday, 26 January 2023 01:17 (one week ago) link

Think exact quote was more like, "It's clear who the asshole in the marriage was."

dow, Thursday, 26 January 2023 01:21 (one week ago) link


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